Women in space: A gallery of firsts

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Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space, climbs into her capsule, Vostok 6, in 1963.

(Picture credit score: Roscosmos)

First girl in area: Valentina Tereshkova

The primary girl in area, Valentina Tereshkova, blazed a path for the numerous feminine spaceflyers who would observe. Tereshkova, a Soviet cosmonaut, was chosen from greater than 400 candidates to launch on the Vostok 6 mission June 16, 1963. She was 26 on the time. 

Born within the village of Maslennikovo northeast of Moscow, Tereshkova volunteered for the Soviet cosmonaut program after Yuri Gagarin made historical past as the primary man to in area on April 12, 1961. She was not a pilot, however had intensive parachuting expertise, with 126 jumps beneath her . (Gagarin parachuted to Earth, ejecting from the Vostok capsule throughout descent as a part of the touchdown sequence.)

: How Valentina Tereshkova’s 1963 Vostok 6 flight worked

Tereshkova was one among 4 girls who acquired 18 months of coaching for Vostok 6, and was finally chosen to pilot the flight. The mission launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome two days after Vostok 5, piloted by cosmonaut Valeriy Bykovsky, with the 2 spacecraft’s coming inside three miles (5 kilometers) of one another. 

Tereshkova spent 70 hours in area and orbited Earth 48 occasions throughout her mission. Although an icon of Soviet area exploration, she by no means flew in area once more and have become a take a look at pilot and teacher.

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Sally K. Ride

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First American girl in area: Sally

On June 18, 1983, NASA astronaut Sally Ride turned the primary U.S. girl in area when she launched on the STS-7 mission of the area shuttle Challenger. She was the third girl in area, after Valentina Tereshkova and Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, who flew on the Soyuz T-7 mission on Aug. 19, 1982.

Born in Encino, California, Experience studied physics and English at Stanford College, finally incomes a Ph.D. physics in 1973. She joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 1978 as one of many first six feminine astronauts to affix the U.S. area company. 

Extra: Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space (Pictures)

Experience was 32 when the STS-7 mission launched into area. The mission was NASA’s seventh shuttle flight and marked the primary time a lady managed an area shuttle robotic arm. STS-7’s fundamental mission was deploy communications satellites for and Indonesia. Challenger returned to Earth with Experience and her STS-7 crewmates on June 24, wrapping up a six-day flight. 

Experience would make historical past once more in 1984 when she launched on the Challenger’s STS-41G mission, starting the primary American girl to fly in area twice. 

In 2012, Experience died from cancer at age 61.

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Veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson places her mission patch on the International Space Station during the Expedition 16 mission.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First feminine area station commander: Peggy Whitson

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson turned the primary girl to command the Worldwide House Station when she took the helm of the outpost in April 2008 throughout Expedition 16.

It was science that led to Whitson’s area profession. A local of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Whitson grew up as a rooster farmer and earned a Ph.D in biochemistry from Rice College in 1985, after which she started working as a biochemist at NASA as a Nationwide Council Resident Analysis Affiliate. She formally joined NASA’s Johnson House Heart as a biochemist in 1989 and served because the challenge scienctist for the Shuttle-Mir program in 1992. 

In photos: Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson

In 1996, Whitson was chosen to grow to be a NASA astronaut and first launched to the Worldwide House Station as a part of the Expedition 5 crew in 2002. She spent 185 days in area on that flight, and in addition served as NASA’s first official Science Officer on the station.

Then got here Expedition 16, when Whitson took her historic command of the area station. In the course of the 192-day flight, Whitson welcomed a NASA shuttle mission commanded by one other girl, Pamela Melroy, and racked up her profession fifth spacewalk. 

On her subsequent spaceflight in 2016, she turned the primary girl to command the area station twice when she took command of Expedition 51. She holds the report for being the girl in area, having returned from her final mission at the age of 57

Whitson retired from NASA in June 2018. She has spent a complete of 665 days in area.

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Svetlana Savitskaya

(Picture credit score: Getty)

First feminine spacewalker: Svetlana Savitskaya

The primary girl to finish a spacewalk, or extravehicular exercise (EVA), was Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya

Savitskaya turned the second girl to fly in area in August 1982 – 19 years after Valentina Tereshkova’s flight – when she served as a analysis cosmonaut on the area station Salyut 7. She launched on a Soyuz T-7 spacecraft on Aug. 19 , 1982 and spent returned to Earth eight days later. 

However it was throughout Savitskaya’s second journey to Salyut 7 in 1984 that she made historical past as the primary girl to stroll in area. She was additionally the primary girl ever to fly in area a second time.

Savitskaya launched with two crewmates aboard Soyuz T-12 on July 17, 184 and spent 12 days on Salyut 7. Her spacewalk occurred on July 24, when she and crewmate Vladimir Dzhanibekov spent greater than three hours spacewalking and performing welding experiments in orbit. 

Born in Moscow, Savitskaya was decided to fly at a younger age. She started parachuting at age 16 and joined the Soviet Aerobatics Crew at age 18 to carry out daredevil stunts and performances in plane, according to the UK Space Agency. She was chosen to affix the Soviet cosmonaut corps in 1980 and holds a grasp’s diploma in flight engineering.

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Kathy Sullivan, the first American woman to go on a spacewalk.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First U.S. feminine spacewalker: Kathy Sullivan

NASA astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan turned the primary American girl to carry out a spacewalk when she floated outdoors the area shuttle Challenger throughout mission STS-41-G on Oct. 11, 1984.

Sullivan’s spacewalk occurred simply months after the first-ever spacewalk by a lady (cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya’s tour in July of that 12 months) throughout Challenger’s nine-day mission to deploy an Earth statement satellite tv for pc (the Earth Radiation Price range Satellite tv for pc) and satellite tv for pc refueling expertise. 

Sullivan holds a Ph.D in geology and joined NASA’s eight of astronauts in 1978, coaching for spaceflight for six years whereas awaiting her first task. That task was the STS-41-G mission, when she turned the primary American girl to stroll in area. 

In April 1990, Sullivan returned to area on the shuttle Discovery, this time to assist deploy the Hubble House Telescope. In 1993, Sullivan left NASA to function chief scientist for NOAA and finally turned NOAA’s Administrator in 2014.

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Mae Jemison flew on space shuttle mission STS-47 in 1992, and has continued promoting space exploration ever since.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First African American girl in area: Mae Jemison

NASA astronaut Mae Jemison flew on area shuttle Endeavour in September 1992, turning into the primary African-American girl to journey to area.

Born in Decatur, Alabama, Jemison grew up in Chicago and earned levels in chemical engineering and African and African-American research at Stanford College, in addition to doctorate in drugs from Cornell College. After working as a physician for a number of years and serving time period within the Peace Corps, Jemison joined NASA as an astronaut in 1987. 

Jemison launched into area on Endeavour on Sept. 12, 1992 as a part of the seven-person STS-47 crew. She served as a mission specialist, performing experiments in two bone cell analysis experiments amongst different duties. Endeavour carried a Spacelab in its payload bay to permit room for greater than 43 completely different research in the course of the mission. 

Jemison spent simply over 190 hours in area in the course of the STS-47 mission and left NASA in March 1993. 

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(Picture credit score: NASA)

First feminine area shuttle commander: Eileen Collins

NASA astronaut Eileen Collins was the primary girl to command an area shuttle mission, a job that required an astronaut to have at the very least 1,000 hours of expertise piloting jet plane. Collins commanded the STS-93 area shuttle mission in July 1999, and went on to command a second time in July 2005.

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NASA astronaut and Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Christina Koch works on the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) swapping and cleaning hardware inside the quantum research device., on Jan. 28, 2020.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First girl to (practically) 1 12 months in area: Christina Koch

In April 2019, NASA introduced that Expedition 59 astronaut Christina Koch’s mission on the Worldwide House Station can be extended to last 328 days. She broke the report for the longest single spaceflight by a lady — a report that was beforehand held by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who spent 289 consecutive days in area from 2016 to 2017. Koch launched to the area station on March 14, 2019 and returned to Earth on Feb. 6, 2020.  

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NASA astronauts Christina Koch (right) and Jessica Meir pose with their spacesuits for an October 2019 spacewalk, the first all-woman spacewalk in history.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First all-female spacewalk

On Oct. 18, 2019, two NASA astronauts made area historical past with the world’s first all-female spacewalk. NASA astronauts Christina Koch (left) and Jessica Meir take a look at their spacesuits for his or her historic Oct. 18, 2019 spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir went outdoors the Worldwide House Station on an unplanned restore spacewalk to repair a fault battery element. Koch, a spacewalk veteran, led the EVA whereas Meir carried out her first spacewalk. 

Koch and Meir have been a part of the Expedition 61 crew, with Koch additionally the primary practically yearlong area mission by a lady. Koch set a brand new report for the longest single spaceflight, having spent 328 consecutive days on board the orbiting laboratory. (The earlier report holder was Peggy Whitson, who spent 289 consecutive days in area.)

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Astronaut Barbara Morgan, an STS-118 mission specialist and former Idaho schoolteacher, smiles for a photo near the aft flight deck of Space Shuttle Endeavour while docked with the International Space Station.

(Picture credit score: NASA.)

First trainer in area: Barbara Morgan

NASA’s authentic plan to ship the primary trainer to area was thwarted when Christa McAuliffe and her six crewmates have been killed aboard the area shuttle Challenger, which was destroyed simply after liftoff on Jan. 28, 1986. Twelve years later, McAuliffe’s backup Barbara Morgan turned the primary educator to succeed in orbit beneath NASA’s Instructor in House program, when she flew on the STS-118 flight of the shuttle Endeavour in August 2007. She spent a complete of 12 days in area throughout her first and solely spaceflight. Earlier than she joined NASA in 1998, Morgan taught math, science and studying lessons to elementary college college students in Montana, Idaho and Ecuador for 24 years. She retired from NASA in 2008 to proceed instructing at Boise State College. 

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NASA astronaut and biologist Kate Rubins successfully sequenced DNA in the microgravity of the International Space Station using a small device called MinION.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First to sequence DNA in area: Kate Rubins

NASA astronaut and microbiologist Kate Rubins became the first researcher to sequence DNA in space throughout her first mission to the Worldwide House Station in 2016, when she spent 115 days working as a flight engineer for Expedition 48. Rubins, who holds a doctorate in most cancers biology from Stanford College, sequenced DNA samples from a mouse, a virus and micro organism to check a commercially obtainable DNA sequencing machine referred to as MinION.

“With a strategy to sequence DNA in area, astronauts might diagnose an sickness, or establish microbes rising within the Worldwide House Station and decide whether or not or not they symbolize a well being risk,” NASA officers mentioned in a statement. “An area-based DNA sequencer can be an vital software to assist defend astronaut well being throughout lengthy period missions on the journey to Mars, and future explorers might additionally probably use the expertise to establish DNA-based life types past Earth.”

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British chemist Helen Sharman became the first British person to fly in space when she visited the Mir space station aboard the Soyuz TM-12 in 1991.

(Picture credit score: Sputnik/Alamy)

First Briton in area: Helen Sharman

British meals chemist and citizen Helen Sharman turned the primary British individual to fly in area when she visited the Mir area station aboard the Soyuz TM-12 in Might 1991. Throughout this flight, she additionally turned the primary girl to go to the Mir space station.

Sharman’s highway to area was a bit completely different from the skilled astronauts and cosmonauts of NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos company. 

In 1989, Sharman answered a radio commercial calling for candidates to fly in area as a part of Challenge Juno, a collaboration between personal British corporations and the Soviet Union to launch a Briton into area. She beat out practically 13,000 different candidates to win the coveted spot and spent 18 months coaching to fly on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. 

Sharman launched to Mir on Might 18, 2991 and spent eight days in area performing organic and crystal progress experiments, in addition to speaking with British schoolchildren through radio. 

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Roberta L. Bondar

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First Canadian girl in area: Roberta Bondar

Roberta Bondar turned Canada’s first feminine astronaut when she flew on the STS-42 area shuttle mission in 1992. 

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The first Japanese woman in space was Chiaki Mukai, representing the National Space Development Agency of Japan, who flew on the STS-65 flight of the space shuttle Columbia in July 1994. At the time, she set the record for the longest flight to date by a female astronaut.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First Japanese girl in area: Chiaki Mukai

The primary Japanese girl in area was Chiaki Mukai, representing the Nationwide House Growth Company of Japan (NASDA). Mukai flew on the area shuttle Columbia throughout mission STS-65 in July 1994. On the time, she set the report for the longest flight so far by a feminine astronaut.

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(Picture credit score: NASA)

First French girl in area: Claudie Haigneré

Physician Claudie Haigneré turned the primary and solely French girl to journey to area when she flew to the Russian area station Mir in 1996. In 2001, she turned the primary European girl to go to the Worldwide House Station.

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The first female member of an International Space Station crew was NASA astronaut Susan Helms, who served as a flight engineer during the Expedition 2 mission from March to August 2001. It was just the second mission of the fledgling space laboratory.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First girl to affix an ISS crew: Susan Helms

The primary feminine member of an International Space Station crew was NASA astronaut Susan Helms, who served as a flight engineer in the course of the Expedition 2 mission from March to August 2001.

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Anousheh Ansari floats through the International Space Station.

(Picture credit score: Documentary Channel)

First feminine area vacationer: Anousheh Ansari

Iranian-American entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari turned the primary feminine area vacationer when she funded her personal strategy to the Worldwide House Station aboard a Russian Soyuz area capsule in 2006 by the agency House Adventures.

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First South Korean in space

(Picture credit score: Alexander Nemeov/AFP/Getty)

First South Korean in area: Yi So-yeon

South Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon turned her nation’s first area traveler when she rode to the Worldwide House Station on Russia’s Soyuz TMA-12 in April 2008.

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Suni Williams

(Picture credit score: NASA)

First marathon in area: Suni Williams

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams turned the primary individual to run a marathon in area in the course of the Expedition 15 mission in 2007. She formally registered for the Boston Marathon and ran 26 miles in four miles and 26 minutes on the Mixed Operational Load Bearing Exterior Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) within the Tranquility node of the Worldwide House Station.

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China's first female astronaut Liu Wang waves to supporters while clad in a spacesuit just before boarding the Shenzhou 9 space capsule for a successful June 19, 2012 launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

(Picture credit score: China Ministry of Nationwide Protection)

China’s 1st feminine taikonaut: Liu Wang

China’s first feminine astronaut Liu Wang waves to supporters whereas clad in a spacesuit simply earlier than boarding the Shenzhou 9 area capsule for a profitable June 19, 2012 launch from the Jiuquan Satellite tv for pc Launch Heart.

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson floats in the cupola on board the International Space Station, backdropped by the Earth below.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

Most time in area: Peggy Whitson

The girl who has spent essentially the most whole time in area is Peggy Whitson, who has logged 665 days, 22 hours and 22 minutes in orbit over the span of three journeys to the Worldwide House Station. When she returned from her last journey to area in 2017, she had logged extra hours in area than any U.S. astronaut — male or feminine.

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Four women serving together on the International Space Station on April 14, 2010, represented the highest number of women in space simultaneously. Clockwise from lower right are NASA astronauts Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, both STS-131 mission specialists; and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 23 flight engineer; along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist.

(Picture credit score: NASA)

4 girls in area

4 girls serving collectively on the Worldwide House Station on April 14, 2010, represented the best variety of girls in area concurrently. Clockwise from decrease proper are NASA astronauts Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, each STS-131 mission specialists; and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 23 flight engineer; together with Japan Aerospace Exploration Company () astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist.

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